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Breaking news, press releases and statements from the Writers Guild of America, East

Monday June 23, 2008

WGA Awards First SilverDocs Documentary Screenplay Award



Los Angeles – The Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of America, East have named writer-director Anna Broinowski as the winner of the first-ever WGA SILVERDOCS Documentary Screenplay Award for her film Forbidden Lie$, presented at Saturday night's awards ceremony at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Springs, MD. The honor goes to the qualifying screenwriter of a feature-length film who demonstrates screenwriting excellence in the documentary genre.

"The Writers Guilds are proud to be the sponsors of this new award, which highlights the fact that many compelling documentaries are indeed written and include a story structure. While nonfiction writers are honored through our own annual Writers Guild Awards, we also felt it was important for them to receive recognition at the SILVERDOCS film festival," commented WGAW President Patric M. Verrone.

"The art of writing documentaries is one often overlooked and underappreciated in the entertainment world. We are thrilled that this new WGA Award at SILVERDOCS will recognize those who work so diligently and creatively to enhance the imagery of non-fiction film with their

well-crafted words and ideas," added WGAE President Michael Winship.

"SILVERDOCS is honored to work with the WGA to recognize the art and craft of screenwriting in documentary, a critical element in shaping non-fiction storytelling," said SILVERDOCS Festival Director Patricia Finneran.

Forbidden Lie$ investigates accusations that Forbidden Love author Norma Khouri fabricated her biographical tale of a Muslim friend who was murdered for dating a Christian. Broinowski's documentary also recently won the Australian Film Institute's Best Documentary Award.

The WGA SILVERDOCS Documentary Screenplay Award carries with it a prize of $2,500 and the winner will be granted membership, free of charge for the first year, in the WGAW Nonfiction Writers Caucus or WGAE Nonfiction Writers Caucus.

Nominees for this year's WGA Documentary Screenplay Award at SILVERDOCS 2008 were:

DEAR ZACHARY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER – Writer, Director, Composer Kurt Kuenne

FORBIDDEN LIE$ – Written and Directed by Anna Broinowski

GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF HUNTER S. THOMPSON – Screenplay by Alex Gibney; From the Words of Hunter S. Thompson

IN THE FAMILY – Written, Produced and Directed by Joanna Rudnick

I.O.U.S.A. – Written by Patrick Creadon, Christine O'Malley, and Addison Wiggin; Story by Addison Wiggin and Kate Incontrera

LETTER TO ANNA – Written and Directed by Eric Bergkraut, Coauthor: Therese Obrecht Hodler

LUCIO – Script and Direction by Jose Mari Goenaga, Aitor Arregi

To be eligible for this Award, SILVERDOCS documentaries were required to meet the following criteria: Writer(s) must have received an approved onscreen screenwriting credit, and a script must be submitted for consideration, i.e., a screenplay or transcript.

In recent years, the Guilds have increased their outreach and organizing efforts to build a strong community of nonfiction writers, with an aim to bring more documentaries under WGA contracts. The WGA's Documentary Screenplay Contract enables writers to write and sell documentary screenplays using partial or completely deferred fees while receiving Writers Guild benefits and protections. Questions regarding joining the Writers Guild through documentary work may be directed to the WGAW's Kay Schaber Wolf at (323) 782-4731 or email: and also the WGAE's Alexis DiVincenti at (212) 767-7800.

This season, SILVERDOCS 2008 presented a total of 108 diverse films, representing 63 countries selected from 1,861 submissions with six World, eight North American, six U.S. and seven East Cost premieres, as well as two retrospective programs. Now in its sixth year, SILVERDOCS and its concurrent International Documentary Conference honors excellence in filmmaking, supports the diverse voices and free expression of independent storytellers and celebrates the power of documentary – past, present, and future – to enhance the understanding of the world. At this year's week-long festival, a wide range of documentary films from around the globe screened in six distinct sections: U.S. Feature Competition, World Feature Competition, Best Music Documentary, Silver Spectrum (formerly known as World View), Short Films, and 1968 and Beyond, a special thematic sidebar added for 2008. Additional information about SILVERDOCS is available at

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) represent writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and news.

For more information about the Writers Guild of America, West, please visit; for more information about the Writers Guild of America, East, please visit:


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